Rapid communication: Period2 gene silencing increases the synthesis of αs–casein protein in bovine mammary epithelial cells

L. Y. Hu, M. Z. Wang, J. L. Ouyang, P. F. Li, J. J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Period2 (PER2), a core clock gene, encodes a circadian rhythm protein which has been shown to control mammary metabolism in rodents. Whether PER2 regulates milk component synthesis such as αs–casein protein in bovine mammary cells is unknown. Thus, we used gene silencing technology to determine if PER2 silencing could affect αs–casein synthesis and cell growth in cultured primary bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC). The BMEC were established by enzymatic digestion of mammary tissue from mid-lactation cows. A transient-transfection technique was used to insert a small interfering RNA (siRNA) oligonucleotide specific for PER2 to inhibit transcription. Control and siRNA-transfected cells were cultured for 48 h. qRT-PCR and ELISA analysis showed that PER2 silencing enhanced the synthesis of 2 kinds of αs–casein (P < 0.05) through upregulating the mRNA level of CSN1S1 and CSN1S2 (P < 0.01). Furthermore, the 3-(4, 5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)- 2, 5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) results demonstrated that cell proliferation was not affected (P > 0.05). These data led us to hypothesize that PER2 protein may potentially play an important role in the control of milk protein synthesis and, hence, represents a target that can be used to regulate protein synthesis rate during lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4510-4513
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Bovine mammary epithelial cell
  • Period2 gene
  • Small interfering RNA
  • α–casein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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